Woman Attacked by Rabid Beaver: Enraged Animal Survived 3 'Savage' Beatings

A woman was attacked by a rabid beaver at around 6 p.m. Tuesday at Lake Barcroft, Virginia. The 83-year-old lady, Lillian Peterson, was bitten so many times that she needed to be hospitalized after the assault.

The woman was attacked by the rabid beaver just as she was climbing out of the water. Peterson was knocked off her feet by the 35-pound animal, which sank its long teeth into her calf and would not let go. The elderly woman wouldn't give up without a fight, however.

"It bit me so bad," she told The Washington Post. "I started kicking it with my other leg, but I wasn't sure what I would do."

Peterson, an active swimmer and real estate agent, didn't give up- she took a nearby walking stick and swung for the creature's eyes, hoping to blind it. The rabies-infested beaver was unaffected, though, continuing to bite her all over.

Fortunately, Peterson's co-worker, Mike Korin, happened to be giving fishing lessons at the same lake. He spotted the beaver swimming speedily towards the senior, and knew that the attack was "the real deal."

"I heard horrible yelling and knew it was the real deal," he recounted to The Post. "She was saying, 'I can't get out of its grip. It's got me.'"

Korin gunned his engine across the lake to aid the woman, who by now nearly had her thumb gnawed off. The beaver abruptly left the Falls Church woman, heading for the man's boat, but Mike wasn't letting it get away- he "savagely" beat the creature with a canoe paddle.

After breaking the canoe paddle to momentarily stun the creature, Korin attempted to tend to Peterson, but the 2-foot long enraged animal came for them again. Both of them had to beat the creature back again before it finally lay still, presumably dead.

Paramedics arrived and began to tend to Peterson- by then, the 83-year-old had bite marks on her entire body- but then "all of a sudden, the beaver flips over and comes back to life," said Korin.

Victims and emergency medical workers worked together to trap the animal underneath a net, then waited for animal control, who promptly euthanized the animal. When tested, it was found to have rabies.

The senior was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital to be treated for her wounds and rabies. Officials have told nearby residents not to swim in the lake for now. Peterson didn't need to be told.

"There is no way I will swim in that place again," she said.